Dear Marietta College Family,

Thanksgiving week is upon us, and let me take a moment to thank everyone for helping us complete a successful in-person Fall Semester. We absolutely could not have done this without everyone doing their part!!

Normally, this time of year on campus is when everyone is focused on the final academic stretch of the semester, which means finishing up projects and papers and preparing for final exams. But this year is a little different and we have already put a wrap on the semester.

For many of you, it is also a time of year when you travel to visit with family and friends, enjoying traditional holiday foods like turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, and reflecting on the people and things for which you are grateful.

Again, this year is different — very different.

Despite the desire to celebrate the holiday season like any other year, I am asking that you consider doing something different — DO NOT  travel or gather with large groups this year. This is a huge request, but I believe it will help us mitigate the spread of COVID-19. I know many of you have not seen your families in months, and everyone wants life to return to normal. But the pandemic is not over and keeping our communities and families safe must be our priority. There are many positive signs, including what appears to be a viable vaccine that could be in circulation as early as December, treatments that may help those who are sick, and support for those who are challenged by the virus and the economy, but cases in our area and around the country are on the rise. Because of those issues, I ask that you stay vigilant and celebrate, but again in a different way.

During this season of gratitude, it seems appropriate that we continue to make sacrifices to ensure the safety of our communities and our loved ones. Please connect with your family and friends through Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or over the phone. These sacrifices now will be the reason why we can gather again with family and friends for Passover, Easter, or Ramadan, and hopefully for an in-person commencement ceremony in May.

Judy and I give thanks for each and every one of you and the meaningful contributions you make to our campus and community. Our wish for you is a peaceful and Happy Thanksgiving and a fabulous Holiday Season and 2021 that moves us forward.

On this day of Thanksgiving, and on every other day of the year, be thankful for those around you, thankful for your happiness, and appreciate and never take for granted all that you have.

Be safe, stay healthy, and enjoy your winter break — and remember that your Marietta College family will be thinking about you over the break and will be here to welcome you back in January.

Bring Forth a Pioneer!
Bill Ruud
President and Professor of Management